The kodkod is among the smallest species of cats in the entire world
Kodkod Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Leopardus guigna
Kodkod Physical Characteristics
Brown, Black, White
6,000-92,000 mature individuals
11 years
2-2.5kg (4.4-5.5lbs.)
Kodkod Distribition

The kodkod (additionally called the güiña or the Chilean cat) is a wild feline species situated in South America.

Position amongst the tiniest cats in the whole globe, the kodkod strolls the thick woodlands of the southerly Andean area in search of victim. They invest a lot of their time separated in between earthbound and arboreal environments.

Sadly, this species encounters several hazards in the wild. While not yet endangered, the numbers do seem in decrease. Because of its reclusive nature and restricted array, there are numerous truths regarding the kodkod’s actions we still do not completely recognize.

5 Amazing Kodkod Realities!

  • Kodkod is the name provided to the species by the neighborhood Araucanian Indians.
  • The kodkod, along with numerous various other carefully associated cat species, has white markings on the back of the ears called eyespots. There are a couple of various concepts regarding their function. One concept is that the eyespot works as a signal for the young kitties to follow their mommy. An additional concept is that it improves the cat’s scare tactics variable by making it look like if it can see in all instructions. Yet one more concept is that the markings are indicated to interact aggressiveness versus various other participants of the very same species. There is additionally the opportunity that they’re simply arbitrary markings without a function or feature, although it would certainly be a coincidence that a great deal of cat species arbitrarily appear to have some kind of eyespots for no factor.
  • The kodkod is really useful to individuals by regulating rodent populaces in the wild. Sadly, to the hinderance of numerous farmers, it additionally victimizes residential fowl populaces.
  • The closest living loved one of the kodkod is Geoffroy’s cat. Their environment, appearance, and actions are relatively similar.
  • The kodkod has a melanistic variant that shows up dark, nearly black in shade. Melanistic suggests it has a high quantity of the black pigment melanin in the hair or skin. Nonetheless, melanistic variants are rather uncommon in the wild.

Kodkod Scientific Name

The scientific name of the kodkod is Leopardus guigna The genus of Leopardus, which additionally consists of the ocelot and the margay, is originated from a mix of 2 old Greek words: leon, indicating lion, and pardos, indicating a male panther. Guigna itself is the usual name of the kodkod in Chile.

There are 2 identified subspecies: Leopardus guigna guigna in the south and Leopardus guigna tigrillo in the main and north components of the array. The previous subspecies can be determined by the brighter shades and the existence of area markings on the feet, while the latter has paler hair and no feet markings.

Kodkod Appearance

The kodkod bears numerous physical characteristics of a feline, consisting of the huge eyes, long hairs, squashed nose, and versatile yet muscle structure. It is bound in brownish hair shade, varying in tones in between light grey and yellow, with a white bottom. This is stressed by black red stripes and areas throughout its body. Various other kodkod attributes consist of a little, nearly kitty- like head with black upright markings simply over the eyes. The brief, spherical ears, as stated formerly, have white areas on the back. The brief yet incredibly thick tail, gauging regarding half the complete body size, has 10 to 12 black rings and a broad pointer. The feet and claws are additionally fairly huge contrasted to body dimension.

A number of these qualities are shown to various other carefully associated species like the ocelot, that makes them tough to distinguish. One method to identify them is their dimension (along with their environment). The kodkod is the tiniest wild cat in the Western Hemisphere– and it places amongst the tiniest in the whole globe. Coming up to 20 inches in size and regarding 5 extra pounds in weight, it seldom enlarges than a regular residence cat. Male kodkods have a tendency to be bigger than females, yet physical distinctions in between the sexes (besides the evident ones) are or else believed to be marginal.

Kodkod among rocks, looking for prey.
Kodkod amongst rocks, seeking victim.

Kodkod Habits

The kodkod is, in numerous areas, a regular feline. It’s thin, dexterous, and primarily singular, other than in the reproducing period. Each cat preserves its very own one-of-a-kind house array for feeding and mating functions. Male varieties are bigger than female varieties, yet they do have a tendency to overlap, possibly to make breeding much easier, while overlapping male varieties are seldom endured.

The kodkod’s best property is the capability to climb up trees, which allows it to look for sanctuary, prevent predators, and find victimize the ground. They can be energetic at any moment of the day, yet in order to shield themselves, they just venture out right into open surface under the cover of darkness. Like numerous felines, they possibly utilize some mix of articulations, body pose, chemical signs, and responsive responses in interaction with each various other. One of the most usual kinds of interaction are in between mommy and kitties, in between possible companions, and versus burglars or hazards.

Kodkod Environment

The kodkod is belonging to the blended pleasant rain forests along the hills and coastlines of Chile and western Argentina. The best focus of kodkods lies in the southerly components of Chile, many thanks to the shortage of human task and the occurrence of safeguarded locations in the area. The kodkod appears to favor wet woodlands with a hefty understory or thick stacks of plants (several of which also consist of bamboo) near an appropriate resource of water. Components of its array might overlap with the Geoffroy’s cat (which it appears like) and the Pampas cat.

Kodkod Predators and Dangers

While the kodkod is not yet endangered, its numbers do seem in perilous decrease. The solitary best hazard to the kodkod is environment loss and fragmentation from logging and farming, especially in the pleasant community of main Chile. The kodkod can adjust to some adjustments in its all-natural environment, yet it does require a specific quantity of tree or plants cover in order to grow.

Various other hazards to its survival consist of vehicle crashes, feline conditions (overlooked from residence cats), and purposeful searching. The kodkod is occasionally eliminated by farmers in its effort to invade a chicken cage. Something that conserves from poachers is that its hair is not rather as valued as various other South American cat species.

What consumes the kodkod?

The kodkod has actually couple of recorded predators in the wild, besides probably tamed dogs. If it’s anything like various other wild cats, after that it additionally possibly encounters hazards from eagles, snakes, and bigger cats, particularly when it’s simply a kitty. The color scheme and arboreal way of living both supply a level of security versus possible hazards.

What does the kodkod eat?

The kodkod preys upon little rodents, lizards, insects, and numerous birds (like residential chickens, geese, or yeast infections). Its whole diet is totally meat-eating.

Kodkod Reproduction and Life Process

Much of the secret bordering the wild kodkod additionally reaches its breeding actions, consisting of the timing of its reproducing period, the courtship routines, and adult financial investment. As a result of its evasive nature, researchers have actually not yet tried to do an in- deepness research study, therefore particular presumptions and reasonings need to be made regarding their reproductive approaches. For example, the huge house variety of the male is believed to overlap with the variety of numerous females, providing him unique accessibility to mating companions. There is likely some competitors in between males for possible companions.

After a gestation duration of around 72 to 78 days, the female brings to life a clutter of one to 4 kitties at once. Based upon the research study of various other wild cats, it is presumed that the mommy will certainly supply considerable adult financial investment both in regards to food/lactation and instructing the kitties exactly how to search and make it through. The dad possibly does not supply much of any type of treatment in all. The young kodkod will likely come to be independent from the mommy quickly after it’s discouraged from her milk, yet it takes about 2 years to get to complete growth. Thinking they can make it through versus predators and hazards, the kodkod is believed to have a regular life-span of approximately 11 years in the wild.

Kodkod Population

Because of the shortage of concrete truths and information, there is a broad difference in the variety of kodkods believed to be staying in the wild. The IUCN (International Union for Preservation of Nature, a research study and campaigning for company) places the quote at someplace in between 6,000 and 92,000 fully grown people, down a fair bit from its previous elevation and still believed to be reducing. The kodkod is identified as a vulnerable species by the IUCN Red Checklist due to the hazards it encounters and its restricted array.

While there are legislations in position to shield the kodkod, they are weakly applied and frequently neglected. In order to strengthen their numbers, it will certainly be needed to maintain Chilean woodlands, produce hallways in between fragmented woodlands, area rate bumps and indicators near regular roadway crossings, enhance police systems, and minimize problems with humans (by moneying killer- evidence chicken cages for farmers). National Geographic revealed that it would certainly be moneying one such preservation program in 2018.


  1. Animal Diversity Web, Available here: https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Leopardus_guigna/
  2. Wild Cat Conservation, Available here: https://wildcatconservation.org/wild-cats/south-america/kodkod/
  3. Agencia EFE, Available here: https://www.efe.com/efe/english/technology/scientists-to-launch-conservation-plan-for-kodkod-wild-cats-in-chile/50000267-3765878

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